I believe this year’s presidential election will be a historic one. November 4, 2008 will stand out in the memory of the nation an epoch-making Super Tuesday in the 276 years of checkered history of the United States, by those who will opt to cast their ballet as well by those who would just witness it. On one hand, it might not end t but it will truly initiate the process of emancipation for the people of African-American decent, who would see the name of one of their very own on the ballet for the highest office in the land where the promise of opportunity, freedom, equality and justice for all would take a definite shape: a concept that to so many for so long had just been an illusion, an ill-defined myth from another planet, may be. On the other hand, the rise of a young senator of mixed heritage to the ultimate aspiring zenith of the presidential office of the most envied land on earth, is a truly remarkable phenomenon to be part of to so many of us who came as resident alien following their dreams and who were embraced willingly by those who came before us or were truly from this soil.
To an immigrant like me and millions more like me, this election I believe will be the reinforcement of the hallmark promise of America made for generations that if you believe in yourself, have the dedication and work hard to follow your dreams, anything and everything is within your grasp.
When I was growing up in India where my grandfather and then my father worked in a steel factory, I would religiously listen to the Voice of America to improve my command of English, as my father would always advise. That’s where I would learn about the greats like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and their struggle in life early on. That’s where I’d also learn the fascinating journey of a peanut farmer from Georgia named Jimmy Carter to the White House. Then there was the legendary Mohammad Ali whose pictures and stories my cousins and I would cavernously cut out from newspapers and preserve. I still remember, one of my cousins- several years older than I was – trying frantically to familiarize my tiny imaginative mind with the transformation of Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and his historic yell of ‘I’m the greatest’ and ‘I shook up the world’ after beating the most-feared fighter of his time Sony Liston!
I believe the sheer fascination germinated through those distant images that prompted me all those years ago, still do the same to millions around the world, making us all desire to be a part of this part of the world, where opportunities are plenty, and sky is the limit.
I believe in the belief that if one can find and nurture the passion to be somebody, dreams do come true.
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